Saturday, December 6, 2008

Well, It's Almost Christmas...

And Christmas music is playing on every radio. This causes me to feel a sense of panic. The house is not decorated, shopping lists need to be made, Christmas cards need to be purchased and get the idea. I am not at all ready for this holiday. There's really no excuse. It comes every year and it is always December 25.

But I have a plan. For the next week, I will do nothing but get ready for Christmas. This means no sewing, or playing with fabric in my sewing room which is a more accurate description of how I've lately spent my time in there. When the trees are up and decorated, some presents purchased and wrapped -- then I will let myself back in the sewing room. The kids only have two - TWO! - more weeks of school then they'll be off for two full weeks. This is lovely, for them, but for me this means that all things Christmas must be finished and ready before they are out for the Christmas break.

So I'd better get busy because the clock is running.

So Merry Christmas to anyone who happens to read my blog. I might not get back again to my blog before the big day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Doll Quilt, Washed & Ready to Go!

Well, it's been awhile since my last post. I've been very busy!! My house has had two birthdays and a big Thanksgiving dinner. I try to fit in a little sewing when I can, but for the rest of the year it will be very little sewing time.

This is my contribution to the Doll Quilt Swap V. I really like how this quilt turned out. The blue and red Kaffe squares work so well together and the black accents really set of the colors. On the work table, the quilt just glowed. I was a little sad to send it off, but I did. I think my partner will like it. I snooped around a bit on Flickr; looking at her favorites and her blog. I think she will like the colors and style. I hope so anyway.

Tomorrow I have to embroider all the logos on the shirts for the Lego League shirts. I want to have them finished by the Monday night meeting so I can cross another job off my list. Somedays, the list just seems to grow faster than I can go to keep up with it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

They gave me a sticker!

Just back from voting. The line really wasn't bad; just make sure you get in the right one. My polling place has 2 precincts voting there and it would be a bummer to wait a long time in the wrong line...

So, go on, vote!


In case you hadn't heard, today is Election Day! So go vote!! And give yourself plenty of time, 'cause there are lines...long lines.

I was going to vote after taking my kids to school today. Well, my polling place and every other one I passed had cars waiting to get into the parking lot and many, many people waiting patiently in lines. Being unprepared - no coat - I decided to come back home for a bit and go back in an hour or so. And when I go, I'll be ready to stand there as long as it takes. I'll have a coat, my iPod, and maybe a book. And I will vote!

No excuses today! Let's Vote!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Banana Boy goes Trick or Treating!

Another month over! Time to get into warp speed. Halloween preps consumed most of this week, fortunately the costume was made last year. I just had to re-stuff it (with plastic grocery bags!!) and send him out the door! Now to finish up my DQS5 quilt and start getting ready for all the holidays (and birthdays) between now and the end of the year.

Hope everyone who attended the Houston Quilt Festival had a great time. I didn't get to go this year. Boo hoo! Maybe next year I can get down there again. I just love the show and the classes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I've got a secret...

A new swap partner for Round 5 of the Doll Quilt Swap. I almost missed the email with the info, though. It was in my spam folder! Lucky I checked it; I don't always look in there. Mostly it gets honest to goodness spam! So now I have a partner and have to come up with an idea for a little quilt. My problem is that I have too many things I would like to try and can't decide which to do first. I think I'll start with my stash and see if anything jumps up and yells "Make Me!!"

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were twice as many hours in the day? Just think of all the sewing that could be done...

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A very belated post...

At long last, I took some photos of the sweet doll quilt made by Colleen of Annieshouse (Flickr) for Doll Quilt Swap 4. Aren't the rainbow kaleidoscopes great? I've been wanting a photo for my blog and today the sunshine was so enticing I grabbed the quilt and went outside for a bit. I just love the colors of the quilt, and it's got polka dots!! On the back, too! Love the dots!! Thanks again for a super little quilt!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Electricity...It's a Good Thing!

And so is an internet connection. It is lovely to be plugged in and back on. We're just about back to normal here. Just a bit more cleanup and some small repairs to the roof and fence. We are waiting on the roofers to stop by for a look and an estimate.

You know -- it really is true. When it rains, it pours. During the power outage, my son was playing outside and had a fall. He broke his arm and will be wearing a cast for the next six weeks.

So, at the risk of jinxing myself, I'm looking forward to a normal week. Maybe with some actual sewing time...

Monday, September 22, 2008


Who knew? Hurricanes in Ohio! Well, it wasn’t technically a hurricane went it passed through, but did it leave a big mess! We had hurricane force gusts of wind for about 6 hours last Sunday. When it was over, we had no power, no cable TV or internet and no phone. Almost everyone in Southwest Ohio lost their power. Some still don’t have electricity. Fortunately, our cell phones worked throughout. Our water service was not interrupted. We lost a couple of trees, which fell over our fence and broke it and had some minimal roof damage. We were very lucky. The trees could have landed on our house, but didn’t. We got phone service on Wednesday and power on Thursday. The cable for TV and internet is still out and no idea when we’ll have that back. Our food in the freezer was a total loss, as were the contents of the refrigerator. The kids missed three days of school. The gas stations that had power ran out of ice and gasoline. Stores couldn’t open because they had no power. Finding food and gas and other necessities became a daily challenge. With no TV and no internet, we lost track of news outside the local area. I have always had empathy for those who experience hurricanes and the extended period of interrupted life which often follows. I had never personally experienced anything like it until now. I am very grateful that my family is safe, my house is more or less whole and soon we can expect a return to our normal lives. The inconveniences of last week will soon be a memory. I cannot imagine experiencing the loss of a home, or in some cases, a whole community. The changes can be substantial and everlasting. I pray that those in Texas and other states affected by Ike find the strength to rebuild and go on with the help of neighbors and friends.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DQS4 Quilt Done & Gone!

My little quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 4 is in the mail! I really enjoyed making this one. It was fun and fast! The little Bento Box went together perfectly. I used 1-1/2" strips to make the squares - 36 of them in all. I love pink, and am very happy with how the fabrics came together. The quilting was simple, too. Long wavy diagonal lines across the quilt. Now I hope my partner likes it, too.

The swaps have been lots of fun; I've done 3 rounds of the Doll Quilt Swap and all four of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. I've tried to make all my quilts different from the last. I'm trying to improve my piecing and quilting skills and look around for a new challenge with each new little quilt. I'll be looking for more swaps to do. I just have to be careful not to sign up for too many; I have other projects I need to be working on, too. (The swaps are just too much fun!)

Well, the first week of school is over. I'm adjusting to the new schedule. Our school district is not providing busing to the high school due to a failed school levy and my daughter started there this year. So I now have to drive the kids down to school in the morning and go back in the afternoon to pick-up, twice. Once after school (DD) and again after cross country practice (DS). Three trips a day, every weekday. Man is that gonna get old! And the traffic is awful. We live in a small town that has overgrown itself and there is only one road to both the Junior High and High School buildings. One lane in each direction, thru a quaint little downtown with cross walks at every corner. Bumper to bumper with school buses and 16 year olds on cell phones. Talk about stress! I'm going about 1/2 hour early and 1/2 hour late to try to miss the worst of the traffic, but it is still unpleasant. We just have to hope the levy passes in November so the community can have its streets back, and I'll get my time back. (Not holding my breath...)

So that's enough whining from me. I did spend my time at home today cleaning up my sewing room and getting organized for all the projects I'd like to accomplish. Boy is that list long! I really have to stop buying fabric. At least until after Christmas!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Here!!!

Look at what the mailman left in my mailbox! A lovely, lovely quilt from Luisa of Portugal! I'm so happy I am the lucky recipient of the fabulous fishy quilt that I fell in love with when I saw the pictures over at Flickr. The colors and quilting are just perfect. I will treasure this little quilt and find a special place to hang it. Thank you Luisa!!

I've finished my quilt for the DQS4. I'll post about that one tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Go Michael! Go!!

Don't you just love the Olympics? My family is enjoying lots of coverage, both live and TIVO. And of course, Michael Phelps is such a pleasure to watch. Such amazing accomplishments so far. My kids (both swimmers) are getting such a thrill watching him go for 8 gold medals. And of course, we're loving all the other sports, too. I love seeing all the athletes perform their best. I feel bad for the ones who have a bad day on their big day.

We're slowly getting back to normal here. The vacation stuff is all tucked away until next time. We've done a little back-to-school shopping. I've been sorting out my sewing room; I really need to get more organized in there. I always have to clean up before I can start something new. Doll Quilt Swap 4 is on the cutting table; I want to make some good progress on that one by the end of the week. I'd love to have it done before the kids go back to school, but I'm not sure that will be possible. But it never hurts to try!

Sadly, my Four Seasons quilt hasn't arrived yet, so I'll have to be patient awhile longer. The pile of mail held during our trip arrived without any quilty packages. It was quite large and most of it was sorted directly into the recycling or the shredder. The rest was bills and a few magazines. Two new quilting mags for me. Yippee!!

Here's another vacation picture, just because I miss the beach:

That's Sanibel Lighthouse, just a short walk from where we stayed. Pretty, isn't it?

Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Again!

Back to the real world. We traveled home over the weekend. Two whole days of driving! That is probably the worst part of living in Ohio; we are such a long way from the ocean. And I love the ocean. I'm always happiest by the sea. Our vacation was lovely. Sanibel Island was a very nice place to spend a week. The beach was beautiful with many, many shells. The water was very warm and very calm. It was very peaceful and restful. But now we're back and need to get back up to our normal pace of living. School starts on August 26, and we have a lot to do before then.

While in Sanibel, I visited a quilt shop called Three Crafty Ladies. It was a quaint little shop. I picked up a little kit and a pattern which I will have to add to my list of projects to do. Somehow it never gets any shorter... At the top of the list is my Doll Quilt Swap 4 quilt. The fabric is all there, I just need to decide on the design and get it made. I want to do something a bit different this time.

I've been checking out Flickr to see all the quilts in both the Four Seasons Quilt Swap and Doll Quilt Swap groups. I've seen many I would love to own. I don't know if the one I am to recieve is one of the ones posted or not. Our mail was held last week while we were away and it is due to be delivered today. Hopefully there will be a package containing a quilt in with the mess of magazines, junk mail and bills.

I also need to get busy and make some things for Etsy. I've got some ideas but they seem to take some time to develop into actual finished items. Realistically, I'm not going to have much productive sewing time until after school begins. My kids are growing up so fast; I'm going to just enjoy the rest of the summer with them and worry about my shops when they're at school.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Doll Quilt

Well, the quilt is in the mail. I had a heart stopping moment when I went to my saved email to get my partner's mailing address and the email WASN'T THERE!!! Somehow a file of saved emails has disappeared. My partner info for the Doll Quilt Swap 4 was also missing. But both swap mamas were kind enough to forward it again and all is right with my world. At least as far as quilt swaps go... I hope my partner likes her new quilt; it will take awhile to arrive as it does have to cross an ocean. I'm not saying which one.

It was a fun quilt to make. It is really bright, I was tempted to send my partner some new sunglasses along with the quilt. I've always liked blue and yellow together. And of course, daisies are my favorite summertime flower. I had been wanting to make a quilt with this block pattern. It was fun to make the 54-40 or Fight blocks. I got to buy a new tool! I love new toys, er tools. I got the Tri-Recs rulers and the block went together like a dream. Yay for new tools!!

My next sewing endeavor is to put together the supplies I need for a hand applique project that I started about a year ago. I had everything together at one point but over time, I've pulled out this and that for other projects. We'll have about 20 hours in the car, each way, plus some quiet time in the condo in the evenings. I should be able to make some progress.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

That's what happens when you try to pack a whole summer's worth of activities into two weeks! We've been to the zoo, the aquarium and the fair. We've shopped a bit and cleaned house a bit. Tomorrow we have haircuts, a doctor's appointment, a trip to the library and other assorted errands. One of which is to run by the post office to send my Four Seasons Swap Quilt off to its new home. I'll get a picture up tomorrow after it's all done; just a few finishing touches left! We still have a number of things to do before the end of the week when we leave for our much-anticipated trip to Florida: laundry, packing, cleaning, etc. And we have a birthday to celebrate on Thursday -- my son will be 13(!!!!!)

Here are a couple of cute photos I managed to capture on our recent adventures.

Taken at the Cincinnati Zoo last week; wouldn't you love to know what the big gorilla is trying to tell the little one? Love the head scratching!

Taken today at the Newport Aquarium Frog Bog Exhibit. This little froggie is trying hard to win at hide and seek.

Quilt pictures tomorrow!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First Day of Summer?

Well, not really but it felt like it. Swim season has finally ended and it feels like summer has just begun. We had no swim practice and nowhere else we had to be which was a very strange feeling. I've been shuttling kids between pools and waiting endlessly for them so we can run off to the next swim-related activity. But now it has ended.

This weekend was the Ohio Junior Olympics which my son qualified to compete in. It was an enormous accomplishment to make it. He was a bit overwhelmed by the event and did not swim his best. But his goal was to qualify, which he did and he got a very cool shirt that he will be quite proud to wear. And so, swimming is over and we go on vacation the end of next week and shortly afterwards, it is back to school. How time flies.

I have managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing time. I'm on schedule to have my Four Seasons Summer quilt in the mail before July 30. My DQS4 is in the planning stages but will probably not get made until after we return from vacation. Here's a quick peek at one of the blocks for the summer quilt.

Blue and yellow are very summer-y, aren't they? It makes me think of summer skies...

Happy quilting!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another busy weekend!

And not a bit of sewing got done! I do have a picture of my accomplishments today.

See! I baked a pie and made jam. My husband and children went up to Grandma and Grandpa's house and picked black raspberries yesterday. A lot of black raspberries!! About 5 quarts, I think. And so I had to use them up before they spoiled. So, I baked a pie and froze 2 quarts for future pies and made jam with all that was left. The pie crust looks a little funny, but it actually tastes quite good. Especially considering it is made with no wheat flour and no dairy products. My son has allergies and he loves pie. This crust works very well; it is just the tiniest bit grainy from the rice flour. The jam was an experiment. I've never made it before. It tastes very good but is very seed-y. I doubt I'll repeat the recipe. It was a lot of work for 5 half-pints of jam (plus one half jar). So the berries are gone from the fridge, the dishes are washed and my feet are a bit sore. But the pie was a hit and we've got jam for breakfast. And I did all that in about six hours in the kitchen! It will be awhile before I do it again...

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. Twenty-two years! Oh my!! That is half my life. DH brought me some lovely roses:

Pretty, aren't they? I love roses and I haven't spent as much time as I should on the ones in my garden so I haven't had many to cut and bring inside. So I will enjoy these very much.

My summer swim team commitment is just about over and not a moment too soon! I cannot believe how much time I have spent working on swim team activities both at the pool and at home. Many, many more hours than a full-time job. But the season has gone well and the kids have had fun. I'll just be glad when it's over and my schedule gets back to some sort of normal. My house and garden need some serious tending and I would love to spend some time sewing. I've got ideas for my swap quilts and need to get started on the Four Seasons summer quilt soon. I should have some time later this week and next weekend.

Hopefully I'll have some quilt progress pictures next time I post. Until then...Happy quilting!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm Still Here...

Oh my, that was an unexpected break. Funny how time can get away from you. With the end of school, beginning of summer and all the summer activities, I have really neglected my blog. I can't believe it's been a whole month since my last post. Hopefully things will slow down a bit so I can get back to normal.

I haven't had any quilting or sewing time lately, so nothing new to post there. I did make my daughter a dress to wear to a wedding because we couldn't find anything suitable. The dresses in the stores were just a bit too revealing for my 14 year old. Just not ready for that yet... A quick stop at Joanns for a pattern and I actually had a piece of fabric in my stash that was perfect so that worked out very well.

I'm eager to get started on my swap quilt projects; I'm in two swaps at the moment. Maybe tomorrow I'll find myself in the sewing room. I'm sure it will be dusty and I may even find a cobweb or two.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spring Quilt from Alice

The mail lady was kind enough to deliver this lovely quilt in my mailbox. I was so excited to see what someone made for me. Pink and green is one of my very favorite color combo and what a fun little quilt this is! See the pink flowers embroidered in the corner? Very pretty!! It came all the way from Alice in Texas and I like it very much. Thanks Alice!

Here's a close up of the flowers:

I found some more pink flowers blooming in my garden to go with my new quilt.

We are having a lovely spring in Ohio. Quite different from the last few years when we had a late freeze to nip all the flowers. This year the flowers have been able to bloom their little heads off and it has been lovely to see. I haven't been able to spend much time outside and am very behind in my gardening chores, but it looks pretty through the windows. My azalea in particular is covered in beautiful blossoms. I have to remember to stop and enjoy the flowers before they're gone. Summer heat will be here soon!

And a belated Happy Mother's Day wish to all moms everywhere, especially to my mom who is no longer here but who is with me everyday in many small ways. Miss you Mom...

Monday, April 28, 2008

And it's off!

Well, I did it. I finished my second little swap quilt in a month and just in time for the deadline! I'm off to mail it, far, far away. I hope it flies quickly so my partner doesn't have to wait too long. And I hope she likes it. It is very pastel-ish. It was fun to make. I bought a stack of Kaffe Fassett squares from Ebay awhile ago and have been afraid to use them. The large patterns and strong colors scare me a bit. Anyway, I thought they would work well in the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern, with a couple solids and a stripe. It went together very quickly. Quilting by hand took a little longer, but I'm pleased with the result. And I still have an enormous stack of those charms left, so I think I'll be experimenting some more to see how I can use them up!

Now I have to get busy sewing for Etsy. And I've been commissioned to make a T-shirt quilt. School will be over in no time and I'm beginning to panic (like I always do) that I will never get all my projects finished before school's out for the summer. So I'm off to sort out my sewing space right after I get back from the post office.

Bye Bye little quilt! Have a safe and speedy journey!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Four Seasons Swap Quilt hangin' out in the magnolia tree

Well, it's finally finished! It's been almost done for more than a week, just waiting for me to sit down and put the final stitches in. I always forget how busy this time of year is! I'll be mailing this one off on it's long journey tomorrow. I hate to see this one go, but it was lots of fun to make. I've got the Doll Quilt Swap III quilt all pieced; it needs a border. Then quilting, binding, etc. I'll get a photo of that one up as soon as the border is on.

I haven't posted since the quilt show in Chicago. I enjoyed the day there very much. So many lovely quilts... lots of inspiration there. How I wish my machine quilting skills were better! I did buy some fabric, not too much though and only a couple of patterns. I find I like to design my own quilts these days.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Week Later...

And I've decided to finish my spring swap quilt as is. Thanks to everyone who left comments here and over on Flickr. I tried everything. I cut swatches of the various fabrics I was considering to cover the darker yellow and left it out on my sewing table. Every time I went by the door, I looked in to see if I liked the "current" combo any better than the yellow. Well, none of them grabbed me. I think I like the yellow; it's just different from what I usually do and it has taken some time to grow on me. So, after finishing my taxes (UGH!) I went back and started quilting and very quickly ran out of the green thread I was using. So, I'm off to JoAnn's in the morning to re-stock and then I will get this one done. I want to get the binding on by Friday; we have a car trip this weekend and I'll be able to finish the binding in the car. Still on schedule to mail by the 15th! Yay!!

And I'm so excited about the trip this weekend. I've convinced my husband that a trip to Chicago is a really great idea. Well, it is...especially when there is a quilt show in town! Never mind that it is supposed to snow(!!??) It has been so long since I've been to a good show. I've been to Houston a couple of times -- a real treat. I know this is a bit smaller, but the quilts will be there and the shopping! I'll have to be good and not spend too much, but I get such a thrill out of being in the midst of quilters and quilt stuff--I know it will be wonderful.

I've got another little quilt in the works. I've joined Round 3 of the Doll Quilt Swap. I'm going for something simpler this time, that maybe will be suited to handquilting. I've got a bunch of 4" Kaffe Fassett squares that I'm playing with. The color and patterns are very bold and a bit out of my comfort zone, but very pretty. I need a couple of solids and maybe a stripe to calm it down a little. Maybe I'll get it together and take it along to quilt in the car. I've got 5 hours up and 5 hours back and I really dislike sitting and not doing something while I sit. I've got some other things I have to do before the weekend, but I'll try to get this one done as well.

Can't wait to see more quilts up on Flickr! Happy Quilting Everyone!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spring Quilt Needs Help!!

My almost completed doll quilt for the Spring Four Season Quilt Swap. I ran into a bit of trouble with the borders and need a little help. I want the quilt to be a rectangle, with asymmetrical borders. The HSTs were supposed to continue across the top and bottom outer borders, but when I put the 1/2 inch dark purple border in (it wasn't originally supposed to be there but I didn't like the pieced border against the pieced center) the math got messed up. So I think it can still work, but the yellow might be too soft.

These fabrics can be used for the darker yellow pieces in the outer border. I'm thinking one of the purples, or darker greens. I'm thinking I'll use the striped fabric to make the bias binding. I was just zipping right along until I realized the measurements weren't coming out. DH just doesn't have an opinion...

Any advice??

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Almost a Quilt!

I'm still playing with the final arrangement of these little blocks for my spring swap quilt. But I did make some progress this week when I wasn't sure I would have time. These little blocks went together fairly quickly and soon they will be sewn together. I'm still on track to finish by April 15! Yay!

The closet cleaning is about completed. Now I have a mess on the first floor of the house until I can sort and remove all the unwanted things. A neighborhood garage sale is planned for May, so I might see if I can turn some of the toys into a little cash but I think the clothes will all be donated next week. Except for the dresses I made my daughter -- I just can't part with those.

Thanks to everyone who has left a comment on one of my posts lately. I was trying today to respond to people, but there seems to be something wrong with my ability to send email. So, I will try again another day!

Have a great weekend! Happy sewing!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time Flies!!!

Oh my goodness! Ten days since my last post and not much to show for it! I have been busy, with Easter and some house cleaning and cooking that needed to be done. A belated Happy Easter and First Day of Spring to everyone!

My kiddos are off school this week, so we are having the Great Closet Purge of 2008. I cannot believe the quantity of outgrown clothes, toys and other things in the closets and drawers. I knew it was getting bad when I couldn't find room to put things away, but the piles in my living and dining rooms are growing at an alarming rate! We have a small pile to pack up and store and a much bigger one for garage sale/donate. There's a new IKEA store just down the highway a bit, can't wait to run down there to get some new organizing stuff!

Anyway, I have been working on my little spring Four Seasons Swap Quilt. I finally decided on a design and I have been making lots of little QSTs and HSTs.

I've got some paper piecing to do, then I can get the center part together. I think I'm going to have to use some partial seams to get it together, never done that before! And I just signed up for another swap. The first Doll Quilt Swap that I participated in is having Round 3, so I'm in for that one, too. That one is due 4 weeks after I get my partner's name. Better get busy!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

National Quilting Day

Today is National Quilting Day. In observance, I'm going to make a decision on the design of my spring Four Seasons Swap quilt. It's been giving me fits. There are just too many possibilities. And I want to make them all.

What are you working on today?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Beautiful Day

It's amazing really. Just a few days ago, it snowed. A lot! We had a good 14-15" of soft white snow and windy conditions that may have qualified as a blizzard.

Today, the snow is nearly gone, just a few small piles where it was heaped during the removal process. It was a beautiful 64 degrees, with sunshine and blue skies. I left my coat in the car and felt the sun on my face.


Gives one hope that spring is actually near!

On the swap quilt front, I've played with EQ5 this week. For hours. I've got some basic ideas that I really like, but I'm having a huge problem making them work with my stash. I've decided that my stash isn't a very good one. Most of the fabrics are in the muted, mid-tone range. I want to make a quilt with happy, bright pastels, not muddy roses and muted blues and greens. So, I'm tossing my "rule" to use my stash out the window. I'm going shopping early next week for something fun. Bring on the sunglasses! My stash can sit and wait for another project. I've certainly designed enough doll quilts to keep me busy for awhile!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Blizzard?

I was so ready for Spring and today we are having a blizzard!! Yes, a real blizzard, which really doesn't happen often in Ohio. Look at what I found outside my front door! We've had 12 inches of snow and it is still snowing. The winds are blowing, the snow is drifting and we are housebound. The roads are treacherous. I was supposed to attend a bridal shower today about 1 hour away in Kentucky. But, I'll be staying home instead. Thank goodness I have lots to do! I think I'm going to sew.

The arrival of the blizzard also marked the arrival of my Winter Swap Quilt from Abby. The package contained a sweet little blue and white quilt and lots of extra goodies. Very sweet! Thanks Abby!

So I'm off to the sewing room to play. I'd like to decide what I am making for the Spring Four Seasons Quilt Swap. I've got a couple of good ideas, but I need to sort through my stash to see what will work. I've made a goal to make it completely from my stash, if possible. I should be able to do so; I've got lots of fabric piled up but sometimes the right colors/values just aren't there. So I'm going to start with the stash and design around that for a change. I usually do it the other way, which almost always means a trip to the fabric store! Have I mentioned that I LOVE to buy fabric??

Have a happy Saturday!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Yay! It's March!!!!

Everything looks so much better when the calendar says "March"! I struggle with the winter months, February especially. I feel a sense of relief when the month is finally over. Thank goodness it's the shortest one!

Anyway -- bring on Spring! I'm ready for flowers and warm weather. And longer days and sunshine. I've got my fingers crossed that we won't have much more snow.

I've got the name of my Spring Four Seasons Swap Quilt partner. Now I can get down to the business of designing a cute little spring-y quilt. My partner hasn't made too many specific requests as to the type of quilt, so almost anything goes!! I'm setting some rules for myself: 1) Try a new technique, maybe curved piecing, 2) Most of the fabric must come from my stash, 3) Maybe add some embellishment, 4) Get done early! I'd like to mail it 2 weeks before the deadline, so I need to get busy.

And I have a question for any EQ quilters out there. I have EQ5 and think I'd like to upgrade to EQ6. But I have limited funds.... Are the differences worth the cost of the upgrade? I haven't had a chance to demo it; just looked at it online a bit. I know I want it, because I'm kind of techy geek - I always want the latest gadget. But I'm not sure I actually need it, know what I mean?? Anyway, please leave me your opinions. I rarely get comments, so I'm hoping someone will respond.

Thanks a bunch!! And keep looking for signs of spring!


Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!!

The novelty and whimsy of Leap Day has always intrigued me. After all, it only happens once every four years. I don't actually know any "Leap Babies," but if you happen to be one-- a very Happy Birthday to you! Today is an extra day, so I'm going to enjoy it. will be featured on Martha Stewart's TV show today. I'm not one of the featured sellers, but I can't wait to see what they do feature. Hopefully, all of Martha's fans will swarm over Etsy and discover all the little sellers, like me!

Enjoy your extra day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Finally Made a New Bag!

At long last, I've completed a new bag for my Etsy shop. Camera battery is charging, so I'll have to add a picture later. I used my sling style purse pattern and used a Kaffe Fassett print from my stash of fabrics. I hope to list it tonight after the camera is up and running and I also want to make a matching coin purse and key fob to list as well. I hadn't sat down to make a bag for a quite awhile and was very happy that I remembered how to do it! I need to make better notes, but hopefully I'll be making another one soon.

I spent some time thinking about what sort of spring quilt I'd like to make for the Four Seasons Swap. I've got a couple of ideas that I think will be nice; I'll have to see if my partner has any specific requirements. My mailbox was empty again today. My winter quilt hasn't arrived. I'm starting to think my special package from somewhere may not come. I do hope it is not lost... That would be a very sad end to someone's hard work. But it isn't a whole month past the deadline yet, so I'll try to be patient which I'm finding very hard to do!

Well, it's off to run the kids to all the afterschool activities. At least it isn't snowing today, so we won't be slip-sliding all the way!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Winter's Last Hurrah!?!?


I took this photo yesterday when I went out to check for mail. Still no quilt. Maybe Monday. Anyway, we've had too much wintery weather lately. Last week was a very strange week. Holiday on Monday, snow day on Wednesday and another one on Friday. Thank goodness for snowblowers. Of course they don't do much good when you get ice!

All of the trees were covered with a glistening layer of ice. How pretty when the sun came out and made everything sparkle. I'd like to make a quilt like that. My picture didn't quite capture the sparkliness.

More icy pictures:

Enough of the cold stuff! Bring on the Spring flowers!!

And I almost forgot! Sign-ups are going on now over at the Four Seasons Swap Blog for the Spring installment. I sent my information along to the marvelous Margaret who arranges all the madness. I find the swaps a great opportunity to try new techniques and complete a fun, small project at the same time. Go visit the blog if you'd like to give it a try!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Snow Day!!

We had a winter storm last night and today, got some snow, got some ice. Kids got a snow day. I guess I did, too. My productivity suffers when I have people home. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a regular school day for them, work day for me. The roads aren't bad now, but they'll probably freeze up over night.

I keep checking the mailbox for my Swap Quilt. So far, it hasn't come. I'm so eager to see it. I hope it comes soon. Margaret is organizing another swap, a round robin this time. I think I'll have to pass on that one. I really want to do the Spring installment of the Four Seasons Swap and I need to focus on some projects I've got to finish and my Etsy store. So I'd better not put anything else on my list just now. But it does look like fun...maybe next time.

And I found out yesterday that I'm needed back on the bowling league to finish out the year. One of the ladies hurt her shoulder so I'm taking her place. It is fun; I can't say I ever thought I'd join a bowling league, but it's nice to get out and be with the other ladies. I thought I'd like to find a quilting group but I haven't had much luck there.

Bye for now!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Another week...

Another week done and not much to show for it. I've been working on a couple of new handbags for my Etsy store. I don't use commercial patterns for them, and it sometimes takes a couple of tries before I'm satisfied with my design. But I've got one that's getting close, so hopefully I'll have pictures next week and a finished product to list.

Later today, I'll be looking through my pile of handwork awaiting attention. We are going on a car trip tomorrow and I need to decide which project to take along. I really need to finish some of them up but I seem to only add to the pile. Most likely, I'll take my hexagons. I really want to finish that one.

I've made tentative plans to attend the Chicago quilt show in April. I've promised myself that I'll finish a few of my WIPs before I go so I can shop with a clear conscience. I don't enjoy shopping much when I feel guilty about it.

Back to the sewing room! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I fixed it!

I finally did it! I spent some time this weekend on the internet figuring out how to fix my blog header which had mysteriously gone wonky. I also discovered how to put a slideshow on here. I chose last summer's vacation in Maine. Looking through those photos again reminded me that I would like to use a few for quilt inspiration. The landscapes up there were breathtaking.

I've also been catching up on some magazine reading as my sore arm is not letting me do much sewing. I just received the current issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, their 15th Anniversary issue. I had no idea it had been so long! Time really does fly!! I've been a subscriber since the beginning. I've got every issue, in a box in my sewing room. Most of them have several sticky notes on projects I'd like to do someday. I'd better get busy!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

I hear the groundhog saw his shadow today. This falls under the category of "Bad News" for me. I've had enough of winter already and now if the groundhog is correct, we're in for another six weeks of it. Let's hope he really has no prediction ability where spring is concerned.

Speaking of "falls", I had a nasty one on an icy spot yesterday. I landed hard on my left side and today my right side is hurting in sympathy. I feel rather out of whack and I've got the beginnings of a colorful bruise. Motrin helps a little. I'm just happy I didn't hit my head, or cut a gash somewhere. Time will heal all, I'm sure.

I noticed when I logged on that my last post was my 50th. I should do something to commemorate it, I suppose. But I have no brilliant ideas at the moment. Maybe by the time I have my 100th post, I'll have something in mind. Maybe I'll make a little quilt or something to give away to a lucky reader.

I'm hoping that tomorrow I feel more productive. I really need to get busy on some new things for Etsy. I posted a few new items last week. I really like the heart fabric; I thought someone might like it for Valentine's Day.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wild and Windy Wednesday

Wow! Have we had some weird weather here in Ohio! Yesterday, it was in the 50's - not normal for January. Then we got thunderstorms, with lightning. Also not normal! The temperature fell to 10 degrees by this morning. And windy!! I thought the roof was coming off for sure. I was quite nervous that one of our big trees would soon be crashing into the house. But the trees are all still standing, minus a few branches and all the shingles are still on the roof. We lost power for a short time, the cable (and internet) went out several times. But all seems back to normal, or it will be after I've finished re-setting all the clocks.

I tried to sew today and was not very productive. A lot of "un-sewing" going on... Anyway, my sewing machine was acting up. It was unplugged for the storm; I value it too highly to risk a shock. I think it's time for a visit to the repair shop. I'm lucky to live near a good dealership that has a very good repair department; it's a bit pricey though. At least I kept my old one so I won't be without a machine. I'm so glad I finished my swap quilt before the problems started; and a custom order for my Etsy shop. I'll give it another run tomorrow to see if it continues to act up. Its due for a servicing anyway...

I just visited Flickr to have a look at all the swap quilts that have been posted. There are some really lovely ones; some are so creative and different. I enjoy looking at them. I can't wait to see what the mailman brings me!

Monday, January 28, 2008


The last stitch is taken, the quilt has been washed and dried and photographed. Now to pack it up safely and send it off to a land far away. I hope ??? likes her new quilt!

Here are a couple more photos:

This was a fun little quilt to make. I enjoyed working with these colors and the new quilting tool I bought. To cut the triangles from pieced strips, I used the smaller Kaleido-Ruler by Marti Michell. I'd like to try another quilt using the same technique. I had a few blocks come out a little wonky...I cut the corner triangles oversized and trimmed the blocks down to size. A few of the snowflakes' corners didn't meet up exactly with its neighbors' corners. I'd like to figure out where my squares went wrong. To make the binding, I used up all the odd width strips leftover from the triangle sets. I thought it might be too bulky, but it really wasn't that bad to work with.

I can't wait to see the rest of the quilts up on Flickr!!! I'm off the to the post office!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nearing the Finish!

I'm almost done with the Four Seasons Swap quilt! The top is finished, including borders. Now I've got to sandwich, baste and quilt it, and then get the binding on. And it needs a label. The quilt hasn't named itself yet, that usually happens when I sewing the binding on. The nicest thing about these little quilts is that it doesn't take much time to do these often time-consuming tasks. I should be able to finish tomorrow. I thought I'd be done today, but I bought "Warm and White" batting and forgot I need to pre-shrink it. So that added a step and slowed the finishing down a bit. It's in the dryer now. But soon, I'll be heading off to the post office to send it on its journey.

I've had some busy days lately, that haven't involved much sewing. But next week is looking like a good sewing week. I can't believe it's almost February...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Random Ramblings....

Not to much to blog today, just a bit of this and that. I have finished all of my little snowflake blocks for the 4 Seasons Swap Quilt and must make a decision about the fabric to use for the little triangles that go on the corners and the border. I have never used white fabric to finish a quilt, but this one seems to be asking for it: maybe a white on white print to represent the snow on the ground that my little flakes will soon join. I don't know, but I'm planning on finishing it this week so the decision must be made soon.

My sewing plans for the week were relying on the fact the the Australian Open is on TV, or so I thought. I very much enjoy a good tennis match and they're not often televised. So I plan to be home as much as possible during the weeks of the Grand Slams so I can sit at my machine and listen/watch tennis on the little TV above my head. Kind of sad, but there you go. Anyway, I checked my local listings today to plan out my week and was quite dismayed. ESPN has elected to broadcast daytime coverage on ESPN Classic, which my local cable company dropped earlier in the year. ESPN is not available from my internet provider (same company as the cable company). So I called them a couple of bad names and tried to come up with another plan. I can TIVO the nightly coverage to watch during the day, but I can't watch the TIVO in my sewing room. It seems I can get a "tournament pass" to watch via the internet for $25. This irritates me, but I'm not sure I am willing to forgo my tennis -- I was SO looking forward to it. I'll stew on it and decide tomorrow.

And I really need to fix my blog. I've been visiting blogs around the internet and I see so many with nice backgrounds and headers. My header has a photo from one of my quilts that used to be centered, but now it's all wonky and I don't know why. I don't have the skills to do anything really tricky, but I'd like a nice header and background. I need some sort of Blogger for Dummies...Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

So busy week ahead. Hopefully some tennis on TV, a finished swap quilt, and a better blog. I've also promised to help a friend with some window treatments and the kiddies get the day off on Friday. And my Etsy shops really need some new stuff. I can't believe January is half over already. So, I'm off to get some rest so I can hopefully get started bright and early tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Flurry of Flakes

I'm sewing snowflakes! And they're going together quite nicely. My Winter Swap Quilt is turning out to be a fun project so far. Just a few more little flakes and I'll be ready to put them all together. Less than 24 hours between the 2 photos, which is really fast for me.

Today marked a very sad anniversary for me. My mom died seven years ago today, quite suddenly. It seems like yesterday. She would have liked these little quilt blocks very much. She loved to sew and she loved blue. She left a few WIPs behind that I intend to finish someday, just not yet. It was good to keep busy with such a pleasant project. And if you are lucky enough to still have your mom, give her a call and tell her you love her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Winter Blues

Does it look like winter to you? I'm pre-washing and pressing all the fabrics I've collected for my Winter Swap Quilt. I love all the purply-blues. Can't wait to start piecing the blocks. I'm trying something new this time.